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Rating The Champ WWE WWF

WWF/E World Titles – 2002

Welcome to my blog. This is the start of a new series, where I’ll be looking back at the history of WWE World Titles (not counting ECW) and ranking all the World Title reigns since the “Modern Era”. The “Modern Era” goes all the way back to the birth of Hulkamania in 1984, and that’s where we’ll end. Today we look back at the year 2002, and we’ll continue to go back from here.

In front of my star ratings for the matches, you’ll either see “HR”, “R” or “RTA”. “HR” means the match is highly recommended ; “R” means the match is recommended ; “RTA” means recommendation to avoid. In case nothing appears, the match is watchable but nothing spectacular.

WWF/E CHAMPIONSHIP

Chris Jericho (December 9, 2001 – March 17, 2002)

  • Televised matches: 24
  • Record: 17-7

My match ratings:

  • Chris Jericho def. Steve Austin in a Title Unification Match – Vengeance 2001 (***1/4)
  • Chris Jericho(c) def. The Rock – Royal Rumble 2002 (****1/4) *HR*
  • Chris Jericho(c) def. Steve Austin – No Way Out 2002 (***)
  • Triple H def. Chris Jericho(c) – WrestleMania X8 (***1/2)

There is no doubt Chris Jericho was the true king of late 2001. He finally won the big one against The Rock at No Mercy, he was having fantastic matches with pretty much everyone on the roster and he was the one chosen to transition the gold to the returning Triple H in the main-event of WrestleMania X8. In the process, he became the first e-e-eeeeeeever WWF Undisputed Champion by defeating both The Rock and Steve Austin at Vengeance. He then cheated his way to victory in a fantastic bout against The Rock at Royal Rumble 2002, but then it all went downhill. A brief feud with Steve Austin followed, and Jericho retained the belt at No Way Out after the nWo literally won the match for him. Then came the proper feud with Triple H – or should I say the feud between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon (with Chris Jericho). Jericho had zero heat heading into WrestleMania X8, and he was walking Stephanie’s dog on the go-home episode of RAW before ‘Mania… The match is good if we look back, and Jericho lost the titles to Hunter before moving back all the way to the midcard. This reign should have been so much more.

Rating: 4/10

Triple H (March 17, 2002 – April 21, 2002)

  • Televised matches: 6
  • Record: 3-2 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • Triple H def. Chris Jericho(c) – WrestleMania X8 (***1/2)
  • Hulk Hogan def. Triple H(c) – Backlash 2002 (*) *RTA*

After capturing the WWF Undisputed Championship from Chris Jericho at WrestleMania X8, Triple H ended his feud with Stephanie McMahon on RAW after defeating her and forcing her to leave for a while. However, he immediately lost the title to ‘Hollywood’ Hulk Hogan at the next PPV and his super babyface run ended like that. Hmm okay then, I guess! This was over just like that, and Triple H’s babyface run wasn’t that great to begin with. It was way too short.

Rating: 2/10

‘Hollywood’ Hulk Hogan (April 21, 2002 – May 19, 2002)

  • Televised matches: 6
  • Record: 4-1 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • ‘Hollywood’ Hulk Hogan def. Triple H(c) – Backlash 2002 (*) *RTA*
  • The Undertaker def. ‘Hollywood’ Hulk Hogan(c) – Judgment Day 2002 (1/2*) *RTA*

Here’s a bit of trivia for you – this reign was the very last in the history of the old World Wrestling Federation, and the very first in the history of World Wrestling Entertainment. Apart from that, though, what was the point of this? Vince McMahon wanted to make as much money as possible with Hulk Hogan during this reign, and since he got a huge pop at WrestleMania against The Rock he immediately turned babyface and captured the title at the next PPV. One thing that this proved, though, is that pops and noise don’t mean ratings or vice-versa, as numbers were going down during this time. It’s unfair to say it was Hogan’s fault, because it was not, but putting the belt on him didn’t save the world. His matches with Triple H and Undertaker were not good at all (remember that awful Chokeslam!?) and it was just weird. As we continue to go with this series, I will talk about some awesome Hulk Hogan reigns. This, however, was exactly the opposite.

Rating: 1/10

The Undertaker (May 19, 2002 – July 21, 2002)

  • Televised matches: 13
  • Record: 10-2 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • The Undertaker def. ‘Hollywood’ Hulk Hogan(c) – Judgment Day 2002 (1/2*) *RTA*
  • The Undertaker(c) def. Triple H – King of the Ring 2002 (3/4*) *RTA*
  • The Undertaker(c) def. Jeff Hardy in a Ladder Match – RAW July 1 2002 (****) *HR*
  • The Undertaker(c) draw. Kurt Angle – SmackDown July 4 2002 (***3/4) *R*
  • The Rock def. The Undertaker(c) and Kurt Angle – Vengeance 2002 (****1/2) *HR*

Damn, were those couple of months after WrestleMania X8 awful in the main title scene or what? After capturing the gold from Hulk Hogan at Judgment Day, he went on to retain in another slow and plain bad match with Triple H at King of the Ring. From there, it did get better, though. He had really good matches with Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle, not to mention the three way at Vengeance in which he lost the gold to The Rock. I still wouldn’t call this a good reign, but it’s definitely better than Hunter’s and Hogan’s.

Rating: 4/10

The Rock (July 21, 2002 – August 25, 2002)

  • Televised matches: 11
  • Record: 7-3 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • The Rock def. The Undertaker(c) and Kurt Angle – Vengeance 2002 (****1/2) *HR*
  • The Rock def. Eddie Guerrero – RAW July 22 2002 (***1/2) *R*
  • Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero def. The Rock & Edge – SmackDown Aug. 1 2002 (***3/4) *R*
  • The Rock(c) def. Brock Lesnar and Triple H – Global Warning 2002 (***1/4)
  • Brock Lesnar def. The Rock(c) – SummerSlam 2002 (****1/2) *HR*

For those of you who are following my YouTube channel, I am currently (slowly) reviewing SummerSlam 2002 and the build-up to this show, so my memory about this reign and Rock’s matches is quite fresh. When Rock came back in the summer for a couple of months, he had one job and one job only: put Brock Lesnar over at SummerSlam. In the process, he gave us a number of really good TV matches before the show. Do I even need to mention he was enjoyable to watch? He’s The Rock, come on! This reign was great despite being a bit short.

Rating: 7/10

Brock Lesnar (August 25, 2002 – November 17, 2002)

  • Televised matches: 13
  • Record: 9-2 (2 draws)

My match ratings:

  • Brock Lesnar def. The Rock(c) – SummerSlam 2002 (****1/2) *HR*
  • Brock Lesnar(c) draw. The Undertaker – Unforgiven 2002 (***)
  • Brock Lesnar(c) def. The Undertaker in a HIAC Match – No Mercy 2002 (***3/4) *R*
  • Brock Lesnar(c) & Paul Heyman def. Edge in a Handicap Match – Rebellion 2002 (***1/2) *R*
  • Big Show def. Brock Lesnar(c) – Survivor Series 2002 (**)

The Next Big Thing had arrived. After beating The Rock in a great match at SummerSlam, Brock Lesnar took the WWE Championshp exclusively to SmackDown and started a feud with The Undertaker. They started with a no-contest at Unforgiven, and ended with a bloody and enjoyable Hell in a Cell Match at No Mercy. A forgotten entertaining Handicap title bout with Edge in the UK followed, before Lesnar dropped the title to Big Show and turned babyface. WWE were doing everything to create a new star, which is just everything wrestling should be. This was also a beautiful time for SmackDown, with the “SmackDown Six” stealing the show every week and them actually whooping RAW’s ass in the ratings for a while. And Brock Lesnar was the face of the show at that time. This was great.

Rating: 8/10

Big Show (November 17, 2002 – December 15, 2002)

  • Televised matches: 5
  • Record: 3-1 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • Big Show def. Brock Lesnar(c) – Survivor Series 2002 (**)
  • Kurt Angle def. Big Show(c) – Armageddon 2002 (**1/4)

At WrestleMania XIX, Brock Lesnar was going to main-event the show against Kurt Angle. Problem is Lesnar was a heel, and since they couldn’t do the Angle match before ‘Mania, someone needed to transition it. Brock asked to work with RAW’s Big Show, who was doing absolutely nothing and had worked with Lesnar in OVW, and so there it was. Call Lesnar what you want, but you can’t say he’s dumb. Despite losing the title, a couple of months of F5’ing Big Show on TV got Brock crazy over, and he got the pop of his life at Madison Square Garden at Survivor Series. This was very brief, but it was necessary and got Brock even more over. Short, but not pointless at all.

Rating: 3/10

WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Triple H (September 2, 2002 – November 17, 2002)

  • Televised matches: 16
  • Record: 11-5

My match ratings:

  • Triple H(c) def. Rob Van Dam – Unforgiven 2002 (**3/4)
  • Triple H(c) def. Kane – No Mercy 2002 (**) *RTA*
  • Shawn Michaels def. Triple H(c), Kane, Chris Jericho, Booker T and Rob Van Dam in an Elimination Chamber Match – Survivor Series 2002 (****) *HR*

For those of you who ask me why I hate this version of Triple H so much, this reign is relatively short so we can actually take a look at each and every feud. We start with Rob Van Dam, the reigning Intercontinental Champion when their feud started. In the build-up to Unforgiven, Triple H beats Ric Flair and RVD loses his IC Title to Chris Jericho by submission(!) on TV. When the PPV comes, Ric Flair turns on RVD (who weren’t even together on TV to begin with) and Triple H goes over. In the feud with Kane, if Katie Vick wasn’t enough, Triple H goes over at No Mercy and, in the process, retires the Intercontinental Championship. And then, at Survivor Series, he does everything in his power to put his friend over again. Winners: The Kliq ; losers: everyone else. Political games at their best! At least the Elimination Chamber was introduced during this reign. So there’s that, I’ll take what I can.

Rating: 2/10

Shawn Michaels (November 17, 2002 – December 15, 2002)

  • Televised matches: 3
  • Record: 1-2

My match ratings:

  • Shawn Michaels def. Triple H(c), Kane, Chris Jericho, Booker T and Rob Van Dam in an Elimination Chamber Match – Survivor Series 2002 (****) *HR*
  • Triple H def. Shawn Michaels(c) in a 3 Stages of Hell Match – Armageddon 2002 (**)

Unlike Big Show’s reign over on SmackDown at the very same time, I would like to know what was the point of this reign. A month after Elimination Chamber, Michaels lost the title back to Triple H at Armageddon. Michaels’ pop at Survivor Series is incredible, though, but apart from that… there’s not much to say here.

Rating: 2/10

ALL-TIME CHAMPIONS RANKING

  1. Kurt Angle (WWE Championship, 15/12/2002 – 30/03/2003) 9
  2. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 18/09/2003 – 15/02/2004) 9
  3. John Cena (WWE Championship, 17/09/2006 – 02/10/2007) 9
  4. CM Punk (WWE Championship, 20/11/2011 – 27/01/2013) 9
  5. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 13/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 9
  6. AJ Styles (WWE Championship, 11/09/2016 – 29/01/2017) 9
  7. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/12/2007 – 30/03/2008) 8
  8. Kurt Angle (WWE Championship, 27/07/2003 – 18/09/2003) 8
  9. Edge (WWE Championship, 08/01/2006 – 29/01/2006) 8
  10. Chris Benoit (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/03/2004 – 15/08/2004) 8
  11. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 06/05/2011 – 17/07/2011) 8
  12. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 25/08/2002 – 17/11/2002) 8
  13. Batista (WWE Championship, 21/02/2010 – 28/03/2010) 8
  14. The Rock (WWE Undisputed Championship, 21/07/2002 – 25/08/2002) 7
  15. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 17/08/2014 – 29/03/2015) 7
  16. Edge (WWE Championship, 03/07/2006- 17/09/2006) 7
  17. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/11/2006 – 01/04/2007) 7
  18. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007 – 27/04/2008) 7
  19. John Cena (WWE Championship, 07/04/2013 – 18/08/2013) 7
  20. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/09/2008 – 26/10/2008) 7
  21. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/12/2003 – 14/03/2004) 7
  22. Kurt Angle (World Heavyweight Championship, 13/01/2006 – 02/04/2006) 7
  23. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 03/04/2005 – 13/01/2006) 7
  24. John Cena (WWE Championship, 03/04/2005 – 08/01/2006) 7
  25. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/04/2007 – 11/05/2007) 7
  26. AJ Styles (WWE Championship, 07/11/2017 – 13/11/2018) 7
  27. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/06/2009 – 26/07/2009) 6
  28. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/09/2007 – 16/12/2007) 6
  29. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 30/03/2003 – 27/07/2003) 6
  30. Eddie Guerrero (WWE Championship, 15/02/2004 – 27/06/2004) 6
  31. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/01/2006 – 11/06/2006) 6
  32. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 09/01/2005 – 03/04/2005) 6
  33. John Cena (WWE Championship, 28/03/2010 – 20/06/2010) 6
  34. John Cena (WWE Championship, 01/05/2011 – 17/07/2011) 6
  35. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 18/08/2013 – 15/09/2013) 6
  36. Kevin Owens (WWE Universal Championship, 29/08/2016- 05/03/2017) 6
  37. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 21/02/2010 – 02/04/2010) 6
  38. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/06/2013 – 27/10/2013) 6
  39. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship, 29/03/2015 – 04/11/2015) 6
  40. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 03/04/2016 – 19/06/2016) 6
  41. King Booker (World Heavyweight Championshp, 23/07/2006 – 26/11/2006) 6
  42. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/04/2009 – 07/06/2009) 5
  43. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 19/12/2010 – 18/02/2011) 5
  44. Jeff Hardy (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/0/2009 – 23/08/2009) 5
  45. The Rock (WWE Championship, 27/01/2013 – 07/04/2013) 5
  46. CM Punk (WWE Championship, 17/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 5
  47. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/02/2011 – 15/04/2011) 5
  48. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 5
  49. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 27/10/2013 – 06/04/2014) 5
  50. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 06/04/2014 – 09/06/2014) 5
  51. Christian (World Heavyweight Championship, 17/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 5
  52. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/08/2011 – 18/09/2011) 5
  53. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 23/08/2009 – 04/10/2009) 5
  54. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 04/10/2009 – 21/02/2010) 5
  55. JBL (WWE Championship, 27/06/2004 – 03/04/2005) 5
  56. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 11/05/2007 – 20/07/2007) 5
  57. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 11/08/2019 – 31/10/2019) 5
  58. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 15/06/2009 – 13/09/2009) 5
  59. Triple H (WWE Championship, 27/04/2008 – 23/11/2008) 5
  60. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/01/2017 – 12/02/2017) 5
  61. Sheamus (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/04/2012 – 28/10/2012) 4
  62. Mark Henry (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/09/2011 – 18/12/2011) 4
  63. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/06/2014 – 17/08/2014) 4
  64. The Undertaker (WWE Undisputed Championship, 19/05/2002 – 21/07/2002) 4
  65. Dean Ambrose (WWE Championship, 19/06/2016 – 11/09/2016) 4
  66. Chris Jericho (WWF Undisputed Championship, 09/12/2001 – 17/03/2002) 4
  67. Alberto Del Rio (WWE Championship, 02/10/2011 – 20/11/2011) 4
  68. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship, 07/04/2019 – 04/10/2019) 4
  69. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship, 11/01/2013 – 08/04/2013) 4
  70. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 07/04/2019 – 14/07/2019) 4
  71. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 05/04/2009 – 26/04/2009) 3
  72. Jeff Hardy (WWE Championship, 14/12/2008 – 25/01/2009) 3
  73. John Cena (WWE Championship, 25/10/2009 – 13/12/2009) 3
  74. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 14/07/2019 – 11/08/2019) 3
  75. Big Show (WWE Championship, 17/11/2002 – 15/12/2002) 3
  76. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/04/2017 – 19/08/2018) 3
  77. Triple H (WWE Championship, 24/01/2016 – 03/04/2016) 3
  78. Christian (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/05/2011 – 06/05/2011) 3
  79. Alberto Del Rio (WWE Championship, 14/08/2011 – 18/09/2011) 3
  80. Kane (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/07/2010 – 19/12/2010) 3
  81. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 03/11/2008 – 23/11/2008) 3
  82. Rob Van Dam (WWE Championship, 11/06/2006 – 03/07/2006) 3
  83. Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Championship, 20/06/2010 – 18/07/2010) 3
  84. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 27/10/2013 – 15/12/2013) 3
  85. Triple H (WWE Championship, 15/02/2009 – 26/04/2009) 3
  86. Big Show (World Heavyweight Championship, 28/10/2012 – 11/01/2013) 3
  87. Edge (WWE Championship, 25/01/2009 – 15/02/2009) 3
  88. John Cena (WWE Championship, 25/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 3
  89. Goldberg (World Heavyweight Championship, 21/09/2003 – 14/12/2003) 3
  90. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 23/11/2008 – 15/02/2009) 3
  91. The Miz (WWE Championship, 22/11/2010 – 01/05/2011) 3
  92. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/08/2004 – 12/09/2004) 3
  93. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship, 19/08/2018 – 22/10/2018) 3
  94. Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship, 21/05/2017 – 07/11/2017) 3
  95. Bray Wyatt (WWE Championship, 12/02/2017 – 02/04/2017) 3
  96. Edge (WWE Championship, 23/11/2008 – 14/12/2008) 2
  97. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/02/2009 – 05/04/2009) 2
  98. John Cena (WWE Championship, 18/09/2011 – 02/10/2011) 2
  99. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 12/09/2004 – 06/12/2004) 2
  100. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/06/2008 – 30/06/2008) 2
  101. John Cena (WWE Championship, 13/09/2009 – 04/10/2009) 2
  102. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 14/12/2015 – 24/01/2016) 2
  103. Goldberg (Universal Championship, 05/03/2017 – 02/04/2017) 2
  104. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 30/03/2008 – 02/05/2008) 2
  105. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 04/10/2009 – 25/10/2009) 2
  106. Dolph Ziggler (World Heavyweight Championship, 08/04/2013 – 16/06/2013) 2
  107. Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Championship, 02/04/2006 – 23/07/2006) 2
  108. Shawn Michaels (World Heavyweight Championship, 17/11/2002 – 15/12/2002) 2
  109. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 02/09/2002 – 17/11/2002) 2
  110. Triple H (WWF Undisputed Championship, 17/03/2002 – 21/04/2002) 2
  111. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 26/04/2009 – 07/06/2009) 2
  112. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/12/2002 – 21/09/2003) 2
  113. Daniel Bryan (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/12/2011 – 01/04/2012) 2
  114. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 30/06/2008 – 07/09/2008) 2
  115. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 22/11/2015 – 14/12/2015) 2
  116. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 19/09/2010 – 22/11/2010) 2
  117. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 20/06/2010 – 19/09/2010) 2
  118. Hulk Hogan (WWF/E Undisputed Championship, 21/04/2002 – 19/05/2002) 1
  119. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 02/04/2017 – 21/05/2017) 1
  120. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/10/2008 – 03/11/2008) 1
  121. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 13/12/2009 – 21/02/2010) 1
  122. Jack Swagger (World Heavyweight Championship, 02/04/2010 – 20/06/2010) 1
  123. The Great Khali (World Heavyweight Championship, 20/07/2007 – 16/09/2007) 1
  124. Jeff Hardy (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/06/2009) 
  125. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 18/08/2013) 
  126. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship, 19/06/2016) 
  127. John Cena (WWE Championship, 21/02/2010) 
  128. Rey Mysterio (WWE Championship, 25/07/2011) 
  129. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 22/11/2015) 
  130. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/12/2013) 
  131. Finn Bálor (WWE Universal Championship, 21/08/2016 – 22/08/2016) 
  132. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 15/09/2013 – 16/09/2013) 
  133. Triple H (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007) 
  134. Dolph Ziggler (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/02/2011) 
  135. Big Show (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/12/2011) 
  136. Batista (WWE Championship, 07/06/2009 – 09/06/2009) 
  137. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007)